Stanley & the Trees
My latest stroll along the Cotswold Way from Coaley View Point to to the junction of the two routes out of King's Stanley and return , proved to be unexpectedly poignant , for when reaching the first of the woods I was met by the sign on the left.
Stanley , was my late Father's Christian name and for many years he lived in nearby Dursley.
He would often drive along the Dursley to Stroud road , which ran parallel for much of this walk.
He would have been delighted to know that he shared his name with this woodland , for like me he dearly loved his trees.
You can find out more about Stanley Wood by clicking the link above.
I cannot praise enough the work of the Woodland Trust , a charity which manages over 1000 woods and allows all of them free to roam ; no strictures , just welcome.
It therefore , will come as no surprise to learn that all Cotswold Way paths that run through Trust woods are very well waymarked ; as was the case with Stanley Wood.
I also ran in Stanley Wood , into the work of Tom Clarke ( see " On the way to a Chimney " 01/08) , a poet who you may remember leaves word messages on gates within woodland.
Here are some examples of his work , that I found during this walk :
The song of a blackbird ,
the prints of a deer.
Rich earth underfoot ,
a light canopy of leaves.
The miles ahead
and the miles behind.
As I mentioned before I have always subscribed to the notion of art , whether sculpture, words or whatever which lives within a natural environment and within the process of time ages and becomes part of the scenery .
The walk itself was a first glimpse of the coming winter ; leaves were spread over the ground and it was muddy underfoot in places , whilst out of the sun's rays the temperature showed a decrease , which made one glad of the scarf and hat.
I am finished now with the Stroud Valley and head next for Dursley.